April 22nd is Earth Day and one great way to celebrate is to start teaching your kids the importance of recycling. It’s never too early to learn how to save the planet by recycling. Teaching your kids the basic three R’s is a great starting out point:
Reduce: Cut back on the amount of waste you use in your daily life. Try teaching the kids to use only what they need. For example, when you turn the water off while brushing your teeth you can save up to 3 gallons of water each day!
Reuse: Brainstorm new ways you can use already existing items in your house or school. For example, decorate old cans and jars to create new storage containers.
Recycle: Whenever a product can be shredded, melted or processed it can be recycled. Teach your kids how to know which products can and can not be recycled.
After you teach them the three basic’s of recycling you can start to plan different recycling programs and activities. There’s tons of different activities you can do with your kids to help the environment, here’s just a few:
- Use canvas bags whenever you go shopping. Canvas bags are a great way to reduce your use of plastic bags and they can be reused during each shopping trip. Keep extra bags in your purse or the car so you always have one on hand.
- Composting is a fun way to reduce outdoor household waste. Kids can help to compost yard waste and food scraps. They’ll also have fun getting their hands dirty when you start your next garden using the homemade compost.
- Get the class or you kid’s friends involved in creating a classroom recycling program. Turn it into a fun game to see which kids can collect the most material to be recycled.
- Teach the kids the importance of always turning off the lights, not just at night. On sunny days open the blinds and use the sun light instead of the lamps.
- Collect cans and bottles. You can take empty cans and bottles to a local recycling center in exchange for money. It’s a fun way to recycle and let your kids earn a few extra bucks.
- Take a walk through a local park or neighborhood and get involved in cleaning up litter.
- Use refillable containers whenever possible. For example, let each of your kids pick out their own metal water bottle that can be refilled instead of buying packaged water bottles.
- Recycle old toys that your kids haven’t used in years. Spend the afternoon going through the old toys and see which ones they would like to donate to local donation centers.
- Be an example. Your kids learn by example. When they see you recycle they will see that you think it is important.
Hopefully these easy recycling tips help with spending just a few extra minutes teaching your kids the importance of recycling this Earth Day! Happy recycling!